Brrrr! Winter Weather’s Effects on BUGS and other PESTS…

So, you thought that this cold weather would knock out all the Florida critters we deal with? Well think again! In Florida, WE BREED BUGS! And just because we are having a spot of “frigidness” (is that a word?) here and there, for the most part it’s never long enough to really knock out any of the bugs like it may up north. Just think about it…last night we were supposed to reach freezing temperatures and in the next two days we’ll be back in the 80’s!! The bugs and critters (as well as the lawn, plants & flowers) are CONFUSED–and I hope this information helps you NOT BE.

When winter weather arrives, some pests go into hibernation while others enter homes seeking warmth and food sources. We want to encourages homeowners to take several precautions against common winter pests like mice, rats, raccoons, cockroaches and spiders. Here are some “Prevent-a-Tips” to prevent an infestation now, and over the next few months.

the bug stops here logoIf you have already been invaded by any of these OR others, you can count on us at PEST CONTROL GENERAL STORE to help you eliminate the problems SAFELY and effectively. Ask us how, then Do-It-Youself!! We are Professional Pest Management Specialists…not sales clerks! The products we sell and the advice that we offer far surpasses discount chain stores. There is no comparison. You’ll find us in Holiday, Florida at:  2636 US Highway 19, or online at as well as on Facebook! Oh…and be on the lookout for our NEW e-Commerce Website coming soon!! We will now be able to ship our products and provide our expert advice all across the nation!

House Mice
The house mouse is the most commonly encountered rodent in the United States. House mice usually nest in dark, secluded areas like attics and storage buildings and garages. This rodent can cause serious property damage by chewing through drywall and also wires that can then spark an electrical fire. House mice are also known to contaminate food and spread diseases, including Salmonella and tapeworms.


Mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk and steel wool.

Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice like to hide in clutter.

Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food.

Norway RatsNorway Rats
Norway rats often nest in piles of debris and other undisturbed materials. They are known to gnaw through almost anything – including plastic or lead pipes – to obtain food or water. They can cause extensive damage to your property. Norway rats are also a vector of many diseases like jaundice, rat-bite fever and cowpox virus.


Norway rats can fit through an opening as small as ½ inch (or the size of a quarter).

Inspect the outside of the home for any gaps or crack and fill them with silicone caulk.

Eliminate sources of moisture in crawl spaces and basements.

Regularly inspect inside the home for signs of an infestation, including greasy rub marks caused by the rat’s oily fur.

German Roach InfestationGerman Cockroaches
The German cockroach is the most common species of cockroach found throughout the world! German cockroaches prefer to live in small areas close to food and moisture, so human homes make the perfect habitat. This type of cockroach often hitchhikes indoors via grocery bags, boxes and secondhand appliances, and is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroaches can contaminate food sources and spread bacteria and human pathogens. Moreover, cockroach allergens are know to trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children.


Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs.

Vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.

Pay attention to kitchens and bathrooms, especially under appliances and sinks.

Be aware of bringing in second-hand items! Thoroughly inspect furniture, appliances, even clothes, books and nick-nacks for they can introduce an infestation to your home!!!

Brown Recluse SpiderBlack Widow and Brown Recluse Spiders
Brown recluse spiders prefer to spin webs in undisturbed places, such as closets, attics, crawl spaces and garages. Like other types of spiders, the brown recluse is frequently found inside cardboard boxes, along window moldings and in seldom-used clothing and shoes. These spiders can bite and inject venom if disturbed, making them dangerous to humans.


Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the home and cut back limbs overhanging the roof. This will help reduce the chance of spiders finding a way inside.

Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers. Pay special attention to shoes, baseball mitts and gloves that aren’t used as frequently as other items, as spiders like to hide inside them.

If you suspect you have a spider bite, seek prompt medical attention.

mean racoon imageRaccoons
Raccoons are commonly found all throughout Florida (and the country.) This type of wild animal occasionally enters homes through attics or chimneys in search of a denning site. Raccoons are a major host of rabies in the United States.


Store trashcans and recycling bins in sealed areas such as a locked shed or outhouse. If trashcans are kept outdoors, use animal-proof lids.

Inspect the outside of your home for access points, such as broken vent covers.

Repair any loose siding or shingles.

Install a mesh cover or cap over chimneys and other exposed openings to prevent entry.

Keep tree branches trimmed back from the house.

I hope you find these Prevent-a-Tips helpful. If we can be of any service to you in helping eliminate these or any other pests, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (727) 942-3551. Or, better yet, visit us in our store, or online!

Have a SAFE Spray,

The Florida Bug Expert Mona Giordano, CPO

The Florida Bug Expert
Mona Giordano, CPO

Mona Giordano, Certified Pest Control Operator

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PEST CONTROL: To Do (It Myself) or not to do (it Myself) that is the question?

The Florida Bug ExpertMona Giordano, CPO

The Florida Bug Expert
Mona Giordano, CPO

So many people are trying to do their own pest control these days. Most of them (sadly) have had to resort to that because of the economy. However, I am here to tell you that Doing Your Own Pest Control is an amazingly smart idea! Not only can you save a ton of money, you will actually get better results, in most cases, because it’s your home and you will take more care and can monitor more closely (you also don’t have to be at the Jones’s in 15 minutes for your next appointment and scrimp on the chemical because you spilled it at the last job!).  Now I’m-a not-a talkin bout attempting to do the job with over-the-counter products applied haphazardly in places they have no business being. I’m talking about using Professional Pesticides under the direct instruction of a Certified Pest Control Operator (and their staff of trained professionals).  You see, that’s what I do. I instruct homeowners and businesses how to do the job SAFELY and EFFECTIVELY.

My name is Mona Giordano, and I am a State Certified Pest Control Operator AND the co-owner (with my husband, Peter) of the Pest Control General Store located in Holiday, Florida.

In Florida, we have bugs, we breed bugs!! Partially due to the fact that we have a sub-tropical climate and partially because we are such a transient state. We have cargo ships coming into port from all over the world–and many of them are bringing along some unwelcome guests. You know the ones I mean…BED BUGS, Ants, and a wide range of other insect pests that we once had under control in this country, but because we are “global” they are back–and back with a vengeance!

Okay, perhaps you don’t have a local Certified Pest Control Operator or a Do-Your-Own Pest Control store down the block. What are you to do? Easy. Send us a bug (on clear scotch tape, and mark the outside of the envelope “HAND CANCEL” so the critter does not get squashed!) And WE will identify the insect AND recommend exactly the right products and the Professional Instructions on how you can get the job done! We’ll wrap it up and ship it out, complete with in detail instructions and our contact info in case you need to talk to us personally.

If you suspect you are having a BED BUG problem–NO PROBLEM! We can help!! Our primary concern will always be on the safety of you, your family, children, pets and of course, the environment.

In most cases (not in the case of Drywood Termites that require a “tent fumigation” performed with lethal gases) and most states (except California, New York and a few others) you are legally allowed to purchase our products and apply them yourself and I promise you, you WILL GET THE RESULTS YOU ARE DESPERATELY NEEDING!

Just ask us how, then do the job yourself.

You can contact me, Mona Giordano, at (727) 942-7412 / I will be happy to help!

GERMAN ROACHES! Back with a vengeance…

Ahhh, sunny florida…lush tropical landscapes, sunny days, warm weather and …GERMAN ROACHES out the yin yang! For years, it seemed we had them under control and they were the exception and not the rule. Sure, we still had to contend with, what “snowbirds” refer to as “Palmetto Bugs” (which are actually just roaches, either American or Australian) but they are easy to control in comparison to the dreaded German Cockroach. Now you would think that a roach is a roach is a roach, but that is NOT THE CASE WITH GERMAN ROACHES. They are so blasted successful at reproduction that they can go from a roach or ten to a gross infestation in no time. They crawl across your dishes and foodstuff, they pee and poop all over the place as they walk about, and they nest in the most unusual places like inside Appliances, in Stereo Equipment, DVD players, Message Machines, Battery Operated Wall Clock, Coffee Pots, Microwaves, etc. If I didn’t know better, I would swear they are so smart that they know we Can’t Spray inside of those Appliances and they would be right, we can’t!

Now what happens is, people go to the department store or the discount chain stores and end up buying FOGGERS or ROACH HOTELS, or smelly, messy, PRE-MIXED products that DON’T WORK and, in fact, make the problem WORSE!! Sure, you may see some dead bugs, but, in the business, we call that “thrill of the kill.” What is actually happening is that when you set off a fogger (or the smoke equivalents) the roaches detect the chemical through “sphericals” (holes in their side that they breath through) and they go even deeper back into the cracks and crevices or wall voids that they were on their way out of. Once they are back there, they are reproducing like crazy and making many more roaches that will, you guessed it, make many more roaches. I have seen such severe cases of infestation that the roaches are in the oven, refrigerator and dishwashers AND falling off the door frames onto you when you open a door. GROSS!

Besides being embarrassing, a roach infestation  can be financially impacting as well. Destroying or infested food, small appliances that are “buggered up” (pardon the expression) by their nests and sometimes damaged so bad that they have to be thrown away and replaced. And then there’s the health ramifications. Plain and simple, roaches carry disease such as dysentery which causes intestinal inflammation resulting in diarrhea containing mucus or blood, fever , etc. If left untreated this can, in the worst case scenario, be fatal. Roach dropping and shed casings have also been known to cause problems with Asthma sufferers and bring on attacks. Now, mind you, these problems don’t typically happen unless the problem is extreme, but if you have severe problems with Asthma or your immune system is compromised, it can certainly be an issue. Did I mention that roaches have been known to eat eyelashes and toenails? Just thought you might want to add that little bit of info to your new-found roach knowledge! LOL! So now, I’m sure you want to know what do,right?

 STEP ONE: would be to do a thorough cleaning of all infested area (Unless, of course the infestation is soo bad that you can’t bear to be working in that area amongst the nastiness. If that is the case, you would start with Step Two, wait a few days and then go back in to finish the job completely. Get rid of all infested food, garbage, boxes, papers, shelf liners, paper products etc. and clean all the droppings and “roach dirt” off of shelves, out of appliances, off the walls, cupboards, counters and the like. Make sure you remove dishes, pots and pans, silverware, glasses, bakeware and basically everything OUT OF THE CABINETS. You will want to wash off all the items that may be covered with roach dirt before putting them back away, too.

STEP TWO: Now that the cabinets and drawers are empty and clean. You want to apply a BAIT product that the roaches will look at like it’s a food source. In my opinion, the most accepted and fast working bait is INDOXACARB. Roaches love it! To them it’s like a chocolate covered brownie covered with fudge syrup, whipped cream and a cherry on top! Irresistible. They take it back to their nest and share it with others AND as a bonus, when they die from the “slow release poison” it contains, the other roaches eat them and consume it as well–double whammy! The real trick is to use a LITTLE BIT OF BAIT, BUT IN A LOT OF AREAS. Usually pea-sized dots are sufficient and it is placed UNDER THE SHELVES AND DRAWERS – not on top where dishes and food are. This product will ensure that you get faster results, no doubt about it. The other area it needs to go, especially if you are in a duplex, or apartment situation where others reside in the same building, is behind the light switch covers and electrical outlet covers.  It’s a good idea to wash the roach yuck off while you have the covers off.

The next step is a breeze. It is the ‘MAIN INGREDIENT,” so to speak. This application goes a long way and lasts about 4 -6 months (depending on the circumstances of your situation).

STEP THREE: You will be using two products mixed together for your initial treatment. One is an ADULTICIDE and the other is called an INSECT GROWTH REGULATOR (IGR).  There are many to choose from in our professional arsenal of weaponry, but a few of my favorites are; CYPERMETHRIN AND HYDROPRENE, respectively. The Cypermethrin is going to leave a residual which will kill the ADULT stages of the roaches and other insects for about 4 months. The Hydroprene is, in essence, is BIRTH CONTROL for roaches. It will deform the adults and cause them to be unable to reporoduce. This will, in effect, put them “out of commission” so they don’t continue to breed back behind the wall voids and places that they nest and hide. FYI – Roaches can live without water for two weeks and without food for 3-4 weeks, so the roaches you see today, haven’t been out in at least a couple of weeks. Hence the importance of using the IGR!

The areas of treatment will be: along and behind the cracks and crevices of baseboards, door frames, window frames, sliding glass door tracts, underneath bathroom and kitchen sinks where the plumbing fixtures are, under the major appliances, stove, fridge, dishwasher, hot water heater, washer and dryer. Be mindful that treating cracks and crevices is the key to controlling these pests. You will also want to treat the garage perimeter, any storage our out buildings, around the A/C pad and garbage containers outdoors as well as the eaves (soffit and fascia) around the outside of the house. You will then USE UP THE REMAINING mixed chemical around the outside perimeter of the house. I like to spray up a foot and out a foot.

This should do it. You may need to do a follow-up using just the Cypermethrin in about 2-4 weeks if you continue to see live, fast-moving bugs, but usually the one treatment will cure a normal infestation. You will then [slideshow]follow-up about every 4-6 months with the Cypermethrin to keep things under control.


Be blessed, and until next time, Have a SAFE SPRAY!!